Four of the five winners were in my First Round of Newbery Contenders….I absolutely loved the books on my First Round List. My favorite character of the year was Georgia Burkhardt in the book One Came Home. I adored this book and had my fingers crossed, but wasn’t sure the judges would vote for it. Had I been on the committee, I would have fought hard for One Came Home. This was an historical/murder mystery that I couldn’t put down. The most creative book of the year was a toss up for me…I couldn’t decide between Flora and Ulysses and A Tangle of Knots. The Year of Billy Miller will keep fans of last year’s book Wonder with a good read in their hands. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers, and I can see it becoming a mentor text or read aloud in many classrooms for years to come. Just like Splendors and Glooms (2012), Doll Bones was one of those books that I appreciated for the writing, and felt it was a strong contender for a Newbery, but would have probably steered away from as a child because this genre would have kept me up at night. On another note, Doll Bones is probably the most creative coming-of-age book I have ever read. I thought that the historical context Paperboy might be a reach for most elementary students; I would recommend this book to students who have some background knowledge of the summer of 1959, the beginning of the civil rights movement and the segregated south. The only book that I’m saddened to see didn’t make the final cut was A Tangle of Knots, although it didn’t receive a Newbery, I feel it is going to be a sure hit with readers who love quirky characters and have the patience to untangle a good plot.
Lots of things go away quickly. But stories and books have sticking power and can be shared time and time again. Try a new story, revisit an old favorite. How about a story of fact or perhaps a fantasy? Stories can be read alone, together, aloud or quietly. Pick up a book for yourself and your favorite child this season.
I am a big fan of Donalynn Miller. Her book, The Book Whisper, was not only inspiring, but affirmed my beliefs about independent reading when it came out a few years ago.
From the Publisher:Reading in the Wild explores whether or not we are truly instilling lifelong reading habits in our students and provides practical strategies for teaching “wild” reading. Based on survey responses from over 900 adult readers and classroom feedback, Reading in the Wild offers solid advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage and assess key lifelong reading habits, including dedicating time for reading, planning for future reading, and defining oneself as a reader.
Another NEW professional book that might be of interest to you is Jim Trelease’s, The Read Aloud Handbook, seventh edition. If you’re like me, his previous editions have been your read aloud “Bible” and go to book.
From the Publisher: This updated edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook discusses the benefits, the rewards, and the importance of reading aloud to children of a new generation. Supported by delightful anecdotes as well as the latest research (including the good and bad news on digital learning).
Some incredible wordless picture books have been published this year. These books can be used to support literacy in a variety of ways.
Supporting Emergent & Beginning Readers
While “reading” a wordless picture book children practice literal and inferential messages, evaluate a character’s actions, understand the interrelationship of concepts presented and increase vocabulary.
Develop Story Lines
Wordless picture books or Stories without Words can be used to help children who struggle with story ideas and topics for writing. Children can be encouraged to create story lines orally and in writing. Instructional strategies could include: dialogue, setting development, character descriptions, sequencing of events, and story development.
Here are a few of my NEW favorites:
For more information about using, exploring and enjoying wordless picture books go to: My Little Bookcase
There’s no better way to kick off the summer than by reading a humorous book. Dr. Seuss might have said it best when he said, “I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.” So, this summer keep on reading and keep those brain cells active!